Travel insurance for an adventure in South Africa – Forbes Advisor

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Planning a once-in-a-lifetime vacation is very exciting and a trip to South Africa can certainly do the trick. The country offers a mix of natural wonders, wildlife exploration, bustling cities, and opportunities to experience the country’s culture and history.

With the Omicron variant of the Covid virus causing chaos around travel in South Africa, it is more important than ever to consider travel insurance. The right travel insurance can cover expenses related to treatment for Covid and also the associated quarantines.

A complete solution travel insurance plan for travel to South Africa will include coverage for:

  • Trip Cancellation: To protect your investment if you need to cancel your trip
  • Travel delay: To reimburse expenses associated with a delay in arrival at destination
  • Trip Interruption: to recoup expenses if you need to cut your trip short and return home (make sure it covers Covid quarantines if you are delayed returning home due to mandatory quarantine)
  • Baggage loss: To reimburse you for misdirected baggage and personal effects
  • Medical expenses: Cover if you need medical attention (make sure it includes Covid cover)
  • Medical Evacuation: Medical evacuation payments and arrangements to get you to the closet at an adequate medical facility

See more : Best Covid Travel Insurance Companies

Protect your travel investment

A reference travel cancellation insurance the policy will protect non-refundable, prepaid travel deposits if you need to cancel your trip. To make a claim, the reason for your cancellation must be stated in the policy. Common reasons for cancellation include death or serious illness, family emergency, job loss, terrorist action, military deployment, inclement weather, or a national emergency at your location or destination.

For example, if you have booked a non-refundable stay at a boutique hotel at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and need to cancel your trip due to the sudden death of an immediate family member, you will be able to file a claim on refund of prepaid fees.

Your travel insurance benefits also cover tickets for experiences you’ll miss. For example, if you have reserved and prepaid access to the Two Oceans Aquarium, you could be reimbursed by your policy.

Not all reasons for trip cancellation fall under a standard travel insurance policy. For example, if you had a fight with your travel companion and changed your mind, that’s not a reason covered by a standard travel insurance plan.

For those who want the highest level of flexibility when making travel decisions, consider adding “terminate for any reason” coverage. This upgrade allows you to change your mind for any reason, as long as you do so at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure time. This cancellation latitude will cost you about 40% more and will usually refund you 50% or 75% of the cost of your trip if you cancel.

See more : Best travel insurance Cancellation for any reason

Delays while traveling in South Africa

A trip to South Africa may include more than one flight from the United States. It is very common for American travelers to stop in London and catch a connecting flight to South Africa.

Connecting flights increase the likelihood of having travel delays. If your flight departs late from New York and you arrive four hours late in London and miss your connection to Cape Town, your travel insurance policy may reimburse you for the additional costs.

For example, you may incur expenses due to the delay, such as transportation, hotel stay, meals, and other minor personal expenses. Most policies have a required delay time, for example six hours, before trip delay benefits take effect. Look for a policy with a short required delay time if you want to maximize the benefits.

No more travel hurdles

Although highly unlikely, there is always a small chance that you will experience civil unrest in South Africa. If this happens, you may need to cut your trip short and return to the United States at short notice. This is usually a reason covered by a travel insurance policy for a trip interruption claim. This coverage will reimburse you for all prepaid, non-refundable expenses, and help cover the cost of a last-minute one-way return flight.

Trip interruption insurance can also cover other reasons for cutting a trip short. Check the policy for acceptable reasons.

Falling ill or injured during your trip

Whether you are traveling to South Africa or any other international location, it is imperative to think about how you will cover yourself if you fall ill or injured. US-based health plans typically have little or no coverage outside of the US. And senior travelers should note that Medicare does not cover health care while you are abroad.

Without health insurance, you would be personally responsible for medical expenses while traveling to South Africa.

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy South Africa’s natural splendor, but they can come with some risk.

“Safaris are an extremely popular activity in South Africa,” said Scott Adamski, spokesperson for AIG Travel.

Even if your safari is well organized and properly supervised, being out in the elements can create health issues, especially for at-risk travellers. For example, if you become dehydrated and disoriented, you will need to see a doctor.

When you are treated by a local medical provider in South Africa, the travel medical insurance the benefits of a comprehensive travel insurance policy will cover medical care and prescriptions, and even an overnight hospital stay. Other risks of traveling on safari include allergic reactions to insect bites or twisting an ankle while on a walking tour.

Related: Best home Covid tests

Changing location for medical reasons

There are many sprawling national parks in South Africa, such as Kruger National Park. If you are traveling in a passenger vehicle involved in an accident, you may need intensive medical attention. There are many trauma units in the city and you may need to be medically evacuated to a better medical center.

Not only can a travel insurance company cover emergency transportation costs, but they can also act as a liaison to help you arrange travel. A call to your insurer’s 24/7 emergency helpline can take the pressure off your travel party in the event of an emergency.

Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, recommends at least $50,000 in emergency medical care and $100,000 in medical evacuation blanket for South Africa. Travelers participating in adventure activities should consider at least $100,000 in medical coverage and $150,000 in medical evacuation.

Related: When should I use a Covid home test?

Baggage problems in South Africa

AIG Travel’s Adamski notes that getting to South Africa can be a bumpy ride for your luggage.

“You are very likely to take a number of flights to get from your home to the actual safari site, which increases the risk of lost or misdirected luggage,” he says. If your luggage becomes “missing” and does not arrive in time for your safari, the luggage benefits of a travel insurance policy will cover the cost of essentials like a new beige outfit, personal care items and running shoes. market.

Baggage insurance also extends to lost or stolen personal effects. If during part of your trip to The Golden Mile, a seaside location in the city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, your camera is slipped from your deck chair while you are in the ocean, your police may refund the depreciated value. Be sure to file a report with your tour guide, hotel manager or local authorities. This will be needed when you file the documents for your claim.

Special considerations for travel to South Africa

South Africa offers plenty of opportunities for adventure sports, so travelers interested in these activities should be aware of any exclusions in their travel insurance policies that might apply, Adamski says. If you are planning adventure activities, work with a travel insurance agent to identify policies that will not exclude your specific plans.

For example, AIG Travel offers many optional policy upgrades that might be useful for travelers to South Africa:

  • The Medical Package augments both the standard medical and emergency evacuation coverage offered in the Basic Medical Plan and adds “Hospital of Choice” coverage and other evacuation benefits.
  • The Adventure Sports package waives exclusions for adventure and extreme activities from all policy benefits.
  • In the event of a riot or civil unrest, the Security Package adds coverage for Security Evacuation, Flight Guard, and Trip Cancellation or Interruption
  • The Travel Inconvenience Package provides benefits for “travel inconvenience” such as flight diversion, stolen credit/debit card and baggage/travel delay.
  • The Baggage Package offers increased baggage coverage and delayed baggage benefits.

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